Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro Ski Boot 2018-2019


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | March 9, 2018      

Shop for Tecnica Zero G

Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro out for a spin, for 2018-2019.

Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro out for a spin, for 2018-2019. Click images to enlarge.

Editor’s note from Lou: Last season, we liked the idea of Tecnica’s effort in their Zero G Guide Pro overlap cuff ski touring boot. Only we felt the boot to be a sophomore effort lacking in enough cuff travel to qualify as a “real” touring shoe, as well as being a bit on the heavy side in term of our expectations. We got some grief for our take from various Tecnica hyper-fans. It appears we also got to be right. This year’s version of the boot (available fall of 2018) has a vastly improved cuff flex range, a clearly better lean lock, drops the two piece swap sole (adds complexity and expense, doesn’t cover middle of boot sole), is lighter, and overall appears finished in terms of being something more than a nice yellow downhill boot with a lean lock and some rubber on the toe and heel. Our only real gripe is the awkward 4-word name, which we’ll play around with shortening so we don’t damage our wrist tendons. Below, one of our best gear testers takes the Zero Pro out for a spin. Looks like we have a winner.

External lean lock has an interesting two-part anchoring configuration. Upper lock actually functions similar to the Dynafit Ultra Lock.

External lean lock has an interesting two-part anchoring configuration. Upper lock actually functions similar to the Dynafit Ultra Lock. This adds to the boot’s beef in downhill mode, only it has a bit of allowance for cuff flex. Note that retail versions will show a small change in the lean-lock fasteners.

Aha, we're finally seeing some movement with different brands improving their power straps.

Aha, we’re finally seeing some movement with different brands improving their power straps, making transitions easier.

The 'U buckle' has become common in many applications, wonderful for a ski boot power strap.

The ‘U buckle’ has become common in many applications, wonderful for a ski boot power strap. Incredibly easy to entirely release, and no hook-loop to tangle with your pant cuff.

Improvement from previous iterations:
– Greatly improved, webbing lock power strap (lighter, more effective, simple on and off).
– Better, easier to grasp with gloves lean lock (external parts instead of small internal).
– Better sole – complete “Vibram” type sole, instead of a sole block on the front and rear of boot, better traction, better durability.
– Better shell – simple, light approx 1340 grams instead of 1540 (we’re not sure this is apples to apples in terms of size, but it’s close), more cuff mobility, lower volume, less bulbous.
– Better buckles – simple, light, mostly out of the way, still has micro adjust, no finicky sliding touring latch on upper buckles

Features:
– The Zero Pro (note shortened name) is a simple, light, overlap cuff boot. No unnecessary BS here. Streamlined, looks like the designers took a page out of their alpine race/plug boots. Very “flat” boot board, almost took the ramp angle out of the Dynafit bindings I used as a test bed. I think they took a lot of the rocker out of the boot or made the heel very low profile to accomplish this, or played with the placement of the toe tech fittings. Lean-lock felt solid and looks to be easily adjustable for a more aggressive forward lean (two screws). The secondary upper locking mechanism is interesting in that it introduces another potential failure point, but perhaps enhances the downhill feel of the boot by anchoring the cuff at two different points.

Fit:
-Folks who like Tecnica (or probably Scarpa) fit will like the Zero G fit in any of the boot’s flavors (5 versions to be available, see below). I would guess that these are fairly easy to fit multiple foot shapes. They’re easily heat punched as well. As stock, the boots have a tight heel pocket yet are quite voluminous in the fore-foot, both in width and height. This seems to be a trend in modern boots, which perhaps makes the the boot fitter’s job easier. The catalog last width is 99, they feel wider. The arch was a bit high for me towards the heel but I bet a heat mold of the liners would easily remedy this. I noticed the shell cuff plastic easily deforms so owners will need to be diligent about buckling the boots and storing them properly when they are not in use.

Touring:
– Ok, this is the best overlap cuff range of motion I’ve ever tested (blew my “other brand” out of the water). I would say this is one of the biggest selling point of these boots. The pivot is relatively low friction and both forward and rearward motion are excellent. The boot’s upper cuff is taller than other touring boots out there. This could negatively effect touring with sidehilling or kick turns for a smaller skier, should be a bonus for bigger taller skiers. Some may like the heel hold shape, for others it could create a hot spot while touring and require some customization. I toured with the top buckles buckled on the loosest setting and then with the buckles open. Really good range of motion for an overlap cuff boot with the buckles opened. The ~1300 gram weight is impressive, only marginally heavier than my “light” touring boots.

Skiing
– Terrific lateral rigidity, reminiscent of an alpine boot. I would bet that the only difference is the lack of reinforcing plastic on the liner cuff. Forward flex is excellent and progressive just like an overlap cuff boot should be. I didn’t see deflection of the lower shell while flexing (perhaps due to the double lean lock, more on that below). I took it easy on the light skis Lou lent me for testing the boots, but I would say the forward flex is more like a “115” for whatever that is worth (note: it was a warm day). Personally would probably kick the adjustable forward lean into a steeper angle using the provided cuff adjustment as well as possible liner shimming, but would guess most WildSnow readers would like the more upright factory default.

Note the tech fittings are the Dynafit certified version, but are not the excellent Dynafit “Master Step” type that make binding entry easier. Thing is, the older style Dynafit fittings allow for more boot rubber and plastic between the ground and the steel of the fitting — if you dirt walk or rock scramble much in your ski boots, this could be a reason the older fittings are actually better. Once you get used to them, they’re nearly as easy for the clip in. But I like the Master Step fittings and would prefer them on this boot.

Gripes
– I think the small, simple buckles of the Zero G Tour Pro will be difficult to operate in cold snowy conditions. The buckles are good at catching the cable latch but also difficult to move around with a gloved hand. Small cables and catches could prove difficult for some.

-The two part lean lock seemed redundant and the upper (gold) piece of the lock seemed to catch the inter-shell intermittently in walk mode (I noticed this while walking around in the parking lot after skiing). I noticed Lou scratching his head over this configuration as well. More evaluation required and we are told a few small improvements will be made in the retail version (see more about this below).

– All buckles and misc parts are riveted to the boot so they’ll be difficult to repair if something breaks. I’m a fan of threaded fasteners, though I’m aware of the downsides (added assembly cost, possibility of loosening during use).

– The main cuff pivots are basic rivets, not threaded fasteners, thus difficult to repair or customize.

Overall
Zero G Tour Pro, good boot, more is less! Impressive weight, impressive range of motion. Overlap cuff. My gripes are minimal, mainly I’d like the upgraded Dynafit toe fittings, though the older style do allow for thicker sole material. Very simple and effective power strap. Stiff on the down. Good, simple, clean liner with flex bellows. Should fit multiple foot shapes. Light enough for a hut trip but still stiff enough to drive the big touring skis/sidecountry setup. Maybe the solution for long sidecountry days. I really liked the Vibram branded sole, nicely rockered, simple, low profile, seems it will hold up to abuse.

Vibram branded sole appears to be excellent, included hardened AFD interface areas at toe and heel.

Vibram branded sole appears to be excellent, included hardened AFD interface areas at toe and heel.

AFD interface.

AFD interface.

Buckles are nice looking and as minimalist as possible.

Buckles are nice looking and as minimalist as possible.

Thick interior boot board will make boot fitters happy. A WildSnow ten thumbs up on that.

Thick interior boot board will make boot fitters happy. A WildSnow ten thumbs up on that.

Overlap cuff isn't a new concept, but some things just work when done well, that's the case here.

Overlap cuff isn’t a new concept in ski boots, but some things just work when done well, that’s the case here. Overlap can give you excellent flex in downhill mode and surprisingly good cuff mobility in touring mode.

Lean lock includes the 'secret hook' we've seen at least one other brand using, and regard as a safety feature.

Lean lock includes the ‘secret hook’ we’ve seen at least one other brand using, and regard as a safety feature. We should mention that external lean locks are not the end-all solution to icing problems, but they make everything obvious and easy to clean if you do get some snow or ice wadded up and blocking your transition to downhill mode. The secret hook helps eliminate guesswork as to whether you’re really locked in or not.

The lean lock has an upper and lower interface with the cuff, upper uses this 'rear tongue' similar to the Dynafit Ultralock.

The lean lock has an upper and lower interface with the cuff, upper uses this ‘rear tongue’ similar to the Dynafit Ultralock. We’ve always liked this type of lock, but we’re not sure why Tecnica doubled down on their locking machinery. We spoke with Tecnica about this, they said having a lower and upper locking interface adds stiffness to the boot flex. In bench testing, this configuration does appear to reduce bulging of the lower shell during forward flex. Fine, so long as the added complexity doesn’t cause problems and the weight penalty is minimal. On first glance, we thought that perhaps the added second cuff lock would be a safety feature due to locking the cuff independent of the lower external hook-lock. That’s not the case, it’s an additional lock, only it allows for some flex of the cuff (presumably so it doesn’t make the boot too rigid, while at the same time having limited range. Again, the upper lock is similar to a Dynafit Ultra Lock (TLT 6, etc.), only it allows for some cuff movement.

Upper, internal lock.

Upper, internal lock.

Cuff lean angle is adjustable by one degree, to do so you remove a couple of screws and flip the bar mount.

Zero Pro cuff lean angle is adjustable by one degree, to do so you remove a couple of screws and flip the bar mount. (Catalog specs forward lean at ’12, 13′ degrees.

Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro, for 2018-2019

Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro, for 2018-2019. As with last season model, common shell punch areas have a stippled pattern that might make heat punching easier. Grilamid and PU are so easy to heat mold we see this more as a cosmetic than anything revolutionary. Perhaps it saves three grams per boot, and does look cool.

Liner is light, basic.

Liner is light, basic. We like basic. A fairly dense, heat moldable foam is used. We like dense. Minimal comfy gushy interior foam layer, to fake out ski shop customers trying on boots, absent. We like that to be absent.

It appears Tecnica made an effort at some breathability.

It appears Tecnica made an effort at some breathability for the Zero Pro liner .

Minimal tongue and cuff stiffening is just right.

Minimal tongue and cuff stiffening is just right. This can be enhanced by a boot fitter, or swap in a custom liner of whatever flavor you desire.

Any boot worth walking in should have a flex bellows in the liner.

Any boot worth walking in should have a flex bellows in the liner. You can improve this by grinding a few deeper slots or making gill slits with a razor blade, but the stock configuration works.

Cuff mobility.

Zero Pro cuff mobility leaves nothing to be desired.

The numbers:
Tested size 26.5, measured sole length 300mm, 1340 grams per boot.
Forward cuff lean, adjustable 12 or 13 degrees.
Last, catalog 99 but we feel it’s wider.

Zero G ski boot series, versions to be available:
Tour Pro (unisex), reviewed here, carbon infused cuff etc.
Tour Scout (men’s and women’s versions), PU cuff.
Tour (men’s and women’s versions), PU shell, PP cuff, heavier less costly.



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Comments

40 Responses to “Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro Ski Boot 2018-2019”

  1. slcpunk March 9th, 2018 10:25 am

    Not really related to this boot, but because you mentioned the power strap. Anyone make an aftermarket ( or diy ) power strap that is convenient to switch between walk/tour modes? Scarpa Maestrale standard velcro strap: sort of a pain to loosen and tighten at each transition – velcro sticks to pants etc. pretty minor thing, but a quick buckle would be better.

    i was thinking of grabbing the straps off some old lange’s ( classic cam strap ) thought that might work pretty well. Easy to tighten/loosen and no velcro.

  2. Kristian March 9th, 2018 3:21 pm

    Pretty amazing specs for this iteration!

    Nice to see companies like Black Diamond Equipment and Tecnica now being very aggressive with competitive compelling offerings.

  3. Lou Dawson 2 March 9th, 2018 4:00 pm

    Kristian, indeed, we’re very impressed by these boots. Lou

  4. See March 9th, 2018 6:55 pm

    Booster straps are pretty nice. The buckles work well and they can maybe add a little progressivity to the flex (or might be my imagination).

  5. Andy Carey March 9th, 2018 7:41 pm

    @See: Booster Straps are great, I use them on all my boots. A key to best results is to match the model of Booster Strap to the flex of the boot. Key benefits: snugs the back of boot (and its spine) up against the liner and keeps the calf up against the back of the liner (the strap goes behind the tongue of the boot and around the liner, unlike a power strap). Thus when beginning to apply forward pressure, the response is instantaneous If the boot is buckled snugly but not overly tight, the elastic in the front of the strap will stretch a bit then pressure will be applied to the tongue, giving a feeling of a progressive flex but is really a smooth two-stage flex. I remove the straps for long uphills and mellow tours on my TLT6, Scarpa F1, and Mercuries. The 6 has slots built into the cuff for the strap, I put the OEM keys on the strap for the F1s, and the Mercury tongue (which I rarely use) has a strap for strap retention. Alternatively, for shorter climbs and traverses I just loosen the cam lock and strap; resnugging is easy and quick. The mfr say to pull the strap somewhat snugly around the back of the boot and the liner, then pull just enough to slightly stretch the elastic.

  6. Ted D March 10th, 2018 8:30 am

    Xl Voile strap makes a great booster style strap.
    Easy open and lose. Maybe too flexible for some but I like the springy feel.

  7. Lou Dawson 2 March 10th, 2018 10:03 am

    By the way, we didn’t pay enough attention to the Tecnica power strap in review above. It’s perhaps the best I’ve ever seen. I added another photo. Lou

  8. DYLAN March 10th, 2018 5:54 pm

    @slcpunk
    K2 Pinnacles have an awesome solution. Not sure how you’d rig it to other boots though.

  9. David March 10th, 2018 6:05 pm

    I’m curious what the “other brand” boot is that was blown out of the water.
    Since when has wildsnow refrained from product comparisons?
    And it is kind of relevant to judging just how revolutionary or otherwise the touring range of motion is.

  10. Vasja March 11th, 2018 6:32 am

    Hi,

    How is the instep on this new version? Any difference from previous model? Is bottom part of the shell changed?

    I have high instep and have trouble getting in and (especially) out of original Zero G-Guide. I’m actually considering trying Dalbello Lupo AX for this reason…

  11. Lou Dawson 2 March 11th, 2018 9:17 am

    David, thanks for asking about that. Each case is different, in this instance we didn’t feel comfortable naming names without having both boots side-by-side on my the workbench, to get specific and be fair. I’ll try to get that done, but meanwhile you’ll just have to guess (smile). As it is, I wouldn’t call the boots cuff range “revolutionary” but it’s indeed excellent. Lou

  12. Lou Dawson 2 March 11th, 2018 9:22 am

    Vasja, I doubt the boot has changed much in terms of last. If I have time I might be able to compare. Regarding your specific issue, indeed, not every boot fits every person. One skier’s low instep shell is another’s perfect fit. Thus, sure, you should be trying other boots! Also, are you working with a boot fitter? There are ways of dealing with the boot pressing down on your instep, sometimes fairly easy if the problem is reproducible indoors for easy experimentation. And, if this is something you ascertained during a quick carpet test, it might actually not be a problem after liner molding, footbed and boot board work. Lou

  13. Vasja March 11th, 2018 9:56 am

    Hi Lou, thanks for the answer. Yes I’m working on the boots – also the old Tecnica. liner was heavily modified (removed material in tongue etc). Currently a “frankeboot” combo of Tecnical liners with Scarpa Freedom (with fully removed footbed) works best. But I’ll keep on experimenting 🙂

  14. Lou Dawson 2 March 11th, 2018 10:09 am

    Yes, lowering your foot is first step. But you might want to go to a tongue type shell, much easier to create room for high instep. Another key move is possibly relocating a buckle. Lou

  15. Lenka K. March 12th, 2018 6:32 am

    @Vasja Have you tried keeping the liner on when getting out of the boots? Works for me (Zero G Pro Women’s version), as the shell then ends up digging into the liner and not into your shin! Grin …

    As for the improvements in this new version versus Zero G Pro ’17-’18:

    1. The greater range of motion in the cuff certainly won’t hurt, but for me the “limited” range in the old version was a non-issue in real life. I have about 40 outings on my Tecnicas so far, mostly about 5000-6000ft vertical, every once in a while with longish flat approaches and I have yet to feel any difference to my old Dynafit ZZeros, even though I prefer a longer stride.

    2. Full Vibram sole: GREAT! The plastic of the rubberless sole part in the middle of the ’17-’18 boot is really slippery and you have to be extra careful not to step on it when scrambling.

    3. Inverted lowest buckle: very good, but inverting both lower buckles would be even better, as both tend to pop open when trudging through deep snow.

    4. New type of lock: I’ve heard of people having problems with freezing locks in the very first Zero G Pro version (’15-’16), but neither I nor my partner who has the yellow ’16-’17 version have experienced this problem.

    5. Liner: as far as I can tell, the men’s liner works fine for my partner. The liner sold with the women’s Zero G Pro version is real crap: soft padding that impedes the transmission of impulses to the ski, doesn’t breathe and the liner therefore gets wet very quickly with resulting cold feet, is getting packed out after just a half of a ski season leading to bruises on shins and blisters on feet …. When I use my old Palau thermoliner from my Dynafits, the skiing performance improves drastically, even though I still have to figure out how to avoid blisters on the heels. Frankly, I’m really disappointed, that a “comfort over function” liner is being sold in the women’s version. After all, it’s a top-of-the-range model aimed at skiers looking for top downhill performance. And as far as I can tell, the liner in the women’s version of the new boot is the same one as in the current version …

    Overall, I wish the improvements had been implemented already in the original version, as they must have been quite easy to spot in testing (full vibram sole, inverted buckles). And I wish Tecnica would let the women’s version be tested by proficient female skiers, rather than playing the “soft-and-cushy-liner-is-so-feminine” card.

  16. Fra March 13th, 2018 5:21 am

    Hi!
    would you do a side-to-side test with Spectre?

  17. Lou Dawson 2 March 13th, 2018 6:14 am

    Hi Fra, it’s not very useful to side-by-side compare a specific model tongue style ski touring boot with an overlap model, they ski and operate very differently by default. What metrics would you propose comparing? Lou

  18. Fra March 13th, 2018 7:06 am

    For example the general feeling and efficiency uphill and downhill

  19. Michael L March 15th, 2018 9:09 am

    .

  20. Bruno March 19th, 2018 9:29 am

    For me, the lowers on the current version of this boot are way too soft. Flexing forward and reward I can watch the lower shell spread out, and it reflects in how the boot skis. So I went back to skiing my 2012 Cochise Pro Lights (which I have multiple pairs). For what the old Pro Lights are, they ski really well with a Intuition wrap liner, but have no front end with the stock Palau tongue liner. I think the Pro Lights were Triax, and was wondering what model of the Zero G might ski like the Triax?

  21. Allan April 12th, 2018 11:50 am

    Tyler and or Lou, How would you guys compare this new ZGTP boot to the Mtn Lab in ROM, power and progression of flex. The cuff lock looks similar to the Mtn Lab and Dynafit Ultralock in the forward flex position with the inner tongue/ rib stiffener that beds into the lower shell to transfer the forces of the cuff to the lower shell vs just the rear bar and cuff rivets of some boots which causes the bulging out at the rivets. Is most of the ROM in a rearward travel? My bigger boot is the Mtn Lab and I’m wondering how this compares to it.
    Thanks~Allan

  22. Cam May 1st, 2018 4:53 pm

    Hi Lou, do you know if these will be available in NZ for the 2018 winter?
    Ciao
    cam

  23. Bob Perlmutter June 2nd, 2018 8:24 am

    Two days ago I had the opportunity to take the Wildsnow test pair of Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro out for a short tour on some of the last remaining skiing on Independence Pass. While a short tour, I managed to tick off most of the requisite applications. Skinning, dirt hiking and skiing. While not much of a fan of the current Guide Pro, this next generation is a revelation.

    The butcher has trimmed all of the fat off of this beef boot to a lean 1340gr. It is noticably lighter than any other boot in this class ie: 4 buckle overlap. Coupled with the best ROM in it’s class, the Tour Pro makes one feel fleet of foot and agile skinning and dirt hiking.

    The snow conditions did not lend themselves to hard charging but the Tour Pro were solid and supportive. The few turns where I could really drive the boot made me feel the more the better.

    Many details besides the new upper cuff materials go into making the Tour Pro perform so well. The simple power strap once hooked can be left that way for the day. It is very simple to transition from loose to tight and back again for skinning and skiing and is very effective. Much has been made of the two point anchor on the lean lock mechanism and I can only assume this is in large part what makes for such a solid connection and feel between the upper and lower cuffs. At first the transition between modes seemed cumbersome but in short order the lean lock mechanism became second nature.

    The new wire cable buckles clearly contribute to the weight savings but were the only weakness I found in the Tour Pro. The cables were a bit fidgety and tended to get hung up while trying to buckle and unbuckle the boots or switch positions on the catch side of the buckle. I’ll still take the weight savings.

    I did not use the liner as it was not molded to my foot, and instead dropped my Intuition Powerwrap and custom footbed in and never looked back. If the new last is narrower than the old Guide Pro it was lost on me and in fact it seemed a more comfortable fit based on recollection. The widest point up front seemed to match my foot better and there was ample toe room. The heel pocket was secure but not as much so as the Atomic Hawk Ultra XTD(the obvious competitor in this class). A quick remold of my liner and I imagine the Tecnica would feel like the boot was designed for me.

    Tecnica certainly put a lot of thought into this latest generation of Guide series of boots and the results speak for themselves. They speak to to me in no uncertain terms.

  24. Bob Perlmutter June 2nd, 2018 8:41 am

    Hi Vasja, I just noticed your comments. The only very minor fit issue for me with the Tour Pro was the instep. It felt like a remold of my Powerwraps would cure that issue. I have a pair of the Dalbello Lupo AX 120 and there is no comparison. The Dalbello is noticeably heavier and one doesn’t need to deal with taking the tongue off to achieve great range of motion let alone put it back on to go skiing. Lastly and most importantly, the Dalbello lacks any progressive flex. It feels like hitting a brick wall with my shins. If you really have instep issues then consider the Atomic Hawk Ultra XTD with it’s moldable shell. I consider the Atomic the most direct competitor to the Tecnica in terms of specs, features and performance. I hope this helps.

  25. jeff foreman October 6th, 2018 7:08 pm

    Lou,

    I’m weighing in very late to this one. 2 questions: 1) Does the booster strap have dynamic stretch tension like the ‘booster strap’ brand versions? Every boot I have ever owned has a static dead tension strap. 2) How small is the heel pocket? I have below average right heel and looking for lock down mode. The XTD I tried on seemed nice and snug but as you know better than I shells do not contract under heating and I’m not waiting around for 3D laser printed boots to come out anytime soon.

    thanks,

  26. Lou Dawson 2 October 7th, 2018 2:07 am

    Hi Jeff, like most boots out there the Tecnica power strap is just a nylon strap. Booster brand actually had a strictly enforced patent, which is why you didn’t see every boot company out there using the same type of elastic system. That patent I hear recently expired, or will soon, so you might see more movement on providing straps with more elasticity. That said, due to stretch of the nylon webbing strap combined with compression of the shell and liner, all booster straps are somewhat dynamic. I know from inside industry observations that there is quite a bit of dissatisfaction with booster straps. They’re acknowledged as being fiddly, somewhat odd in how they contribute to performance (or not), extra cost, more weight, and so on. For moderate ski touring, I tend to remove the danged things, though I do like the feel for the downhill. In my case, the softer the boot the more I like them, with stiff boots I don’t find power straps to be much use at all. As for the heel pocket, I’m not near the boots at the moment (I’m in Austria) but recall it as being average. If you’re having trouble with lower volume heels on your feet, be aware that there is a lot more going on in a boot than just the size of the heel pocket, in terms of what creates the “feel” of having your heel firmly in position. Lou

  27. mike ferland October 7th, 2018 8:21 pm

    read the article about the Ramer bindings by Lou Dawson. I still have my Ramer bindings, they are mounted on a pair of Trucker skis. I used them often climbing up and down Mt Washington here in NH throughout the 70’s 80’s and did have a few problems with them but nothing like what Lou addressed. I’m now 73 and still have most of my equipment from back in the day. I would pack an carry a 50 or 40 lb pack thru the trail know as the Great Gulf Trail. Most of my trips were solo (couldn’t find anyone to camp in Feb.). They were some of the best times I ever had camping and climbing. I also carried snowshoes, (Bearpaw shoes) and had seal skins for the trucker skis. Most of the cold weather gear was North Face.

  28. Lou Dawson 2 October 7th, 2018 10:18 pm

    Hi Mike, thanks for dropping by. The article about the bindings is via the following link:
    https://www.wildsnow.com/backcountry-skiing-history/binding-museum-backcountry-skiing/ramer-model-r-aluminum-backcountry-skiing-binding/

  29. wtofd October 8th, 2018 7:21 am

    @Lou
    By “In my case, the softer the boot the more I like them” the “them” refers to booster straps not the soft boots?
    And I’ve had good success with removing the straps on soft boots too. Although I do love having them on to mate the velcro on left and right boots and sling over my pack at the end of the day! Voile straps to the rescue for that application, I guess.

  30. Ted D October 8th, 2018 9:54 am

    Voile Straps make a great Booster substitute. Light, easy to open close, no velcro to snag on pants. And now there is the XXL version if the original is too flex. Cheper than Boosters too!

  31. Ted D October 8th, 2018 9:57 am

    oops forgot I already posted this above.

  32. Lou Dawson 2 October 8th, 2018 10:54 am

    Yeah, with softer boot I tend to like power straps, with stiffer boots I clearly do not need them, just call me mister mellow when it comes to downhill skiing. Lou

  33. swissiphic October 9th, 2018 9:17 am

    Whether i need them or use them for downhill skiing or not, i keep the powerstraps on all my touring boots. They come in handy for specific scenarios like bootpacking/scrambling up steep snow or non snow terrain where you can micro adjust the support you get from the boot without using the upper cuff buckles while remaining in tour mode.

  34. Herb Jones October 17th, 2018 10:10 pm

    Tyler, I don’t think the cuff deforms (spreads open) as much as it is intentionally molded to allow for more freedom of cuff rotation when skinning, very similar to the (black and blue) Solomon S-Lab. The Atomic Hawx XTD cuff creates a lot of resistance to forward skinning flex by being well wrapped, very similar to the old black and gold Dynafit Zeus. I don’t know how difficult it would be to remold either shape to one’s preference.
    Lou, absolutely the heel hold is not just the heel shape and width but, the heel-instep perimeter and forefoot hold due to the lower tongue fit. David MacPhail patented a tongue fit system he calls a dorthotic (since it fits the top of the foot) in the mid-late “80s with great success for ski boots, skates, and cycling shoes. Much more info about that at “The Skier’s Manifesto” blog.Personally I believe that many heel hold issues would go away if ski boot designs and fitting allowed more free movement fore-aft in the cuff and using the cuff only to limit the fore-aft range of the lower leg. If one rests or aggressively leans on the tongue the heel will naturally want to rotate up. When you free the foot/ankle to function as designed the ability to balance on skis is incredibly easy! Combine with low net ramp angle(~2.5 deg. or less), full forefoot toe and met splay, and normal functional pronation for great balance.

  35. Max November 4th, 2018 5:24 am

    So if Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD is the obvious competitor, then which of these two is the best? Seems weightwise XTD still has the edge. What about downhill skiability?

  36. Lou Dawson 2 November 4th, 2018 6:59 am

    Max, to choose between those boots I’d base it on a shell fit test and a carpet test. They’re both excellent. Lou

  37. Max November 4th, 2018 7:57 am

    I already ski the Atomic FIS 150 memory fit boot and it is excellent. I was even able to size down from my usual 25 shell to a 24.5 for a perfect racing fit. With the Atomics I will be more confident about sizing and fit. If the Tecnica had a major downhill advantage I might hesitate, but that does not seem to be the case.

    BTW I thought Blister gear did a very insightful discussion on the difference a liner makes wihin the XTD range. It was pointed out that the stock liner of the XTD 130 best suited for touring, while the stock liner of the XTD 120 is more for downhill. I will follow up and see what my FIS 150 liner does to the downhill performance of the XTD 130 🙂

  38. Lou Dawson 2 November 4th, 2018 4:18 pm

    Indeed, the liner can be a big deal! Lou

  39. Herb Jones November 5th, 2018 11:16 am

    Hi {ou, Just a small point, in the caption under the photo of the Dynafit- like lean lock mechanism you state that the upper lock only locks the cuff forward flex when it actually locks or prevents rear flex. It is similar to the Dynafit Beast lock mech.
    Currently I am trying to decide between the Tour Pro or Scout and the Ultra XTD and the XTD is winning due to the ease of working on a boot with screw fittings vs rivets. I determined that, for example, a cuff cant like the Scarpa cant “rivet” would be a relatively easy mod on the XTD by simply removing the cuff and sizing/measuring the scaffo/cuff and fittings. I would have to buy the Technica and drill out the rivets, and then have a non returnable unused boot if the mod was not doable. Awkward. The XTD is slightly heavier partially due to the weight of those screws and t-nuts. Oh, and I would hate to lose that slick no friction pivot/rivet “rivet”.
    Does anyone know of any standard liners which are easy to modify as in remove and add padding without using duct tape. The Skier’s Manifesto fit style I employ does not work well with thermo fit liners.
    Best regards,
    Herb

  40. Lou Dawson 2 November 17th, 2018 12:08 pm

    Hi Herb, you are correct, the upper cuff lock does lock front-rear cuff flex, with allowance for some movement, to help with progressive flex. It’s clever. I’ll change the photo caption. Thanks for helping. Lou





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